Taieri Plains

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Looking south across the Taieri Plains from above Mosgiel (part of which is visible in the foreground). Maungatua rises above the plains in the distance.
Part of the Taieri Plain as seen from the southeast, in the hills above Lake Waihola
Looking southeast across the Taieri Plains from near Outram.
Location of the Taieri Plains

The Taieri Plains are an area of fertile agricultural land to the southwest of Dunedin, in Otago, New Zealand. The plains cover an area of some 300 square kilometres, with a maximum extent of 30 kilometres.

The floodplains of the Taieri and Waipori Rivers, the plains are enclosed to the west by the Maungatua and Silverpeaks Ranges, and to the south and east by a low range of coastal hills.

Dairy and sheep farming dominate the agriculture of the plains, although deer is starting to have an economic impact. The alluvial nature of the land means that floods are not uncommon, especially in the area around the confluence of the two rivers. Stopbanks protect farmland, houses and Dunedin International Airport at Momona. State Highway 1 crosses parts of the plain along some of the stopbanks, with the result that this stretch of road is known locally as The "floodfree" highway.

New Zealand's lowest point, at 2m below sea level, is slightly north of the airport on Kirks Drain Road.

To the northeast, the city of Dunedin is separated from the Taieri Plains by a range of rugged hills which are part of the crater of an extinct volcano. At the northeastern limit of the plain lies the town of Mosgiel, officially part of the city of Dunedin. Other settlements and towns on the plains include Outram, Henley, Allanton, and Momona.

To the southwest, a short stretch of rolling hill country separates the Taieri Plains from South Otago's other main lowland areas around the Tokomairiro River and Clutha River. The twin lakes of Waihola and Waipori sit within these hills.

Further reading[edit]

  • Shaw, M. S., and Farrant, E. D. (1949) The Taieri Plains: Tales of years that are gone. Dunedin: Otago Centennial Historical Publications.

Coordinates: 45°53′S 170°14′E / 45.89°S 170.24°E / -45.89; 170.24